Jeremie Miller first began the Jabber project in 1998. Its first major public release occurred in May 2000.
Today Jabber is best known as an open source, secure, ad free alternative to consumer IM services like:
AIM from AOL Instant Messenger
Jabber uses what is known as Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol (XMPP) an open, XML inspired protocol for near-real-time, extensible instant messaging (IM) and presence information (buddy or friends lists).
Every user on the network has a unique Jabber ID (usually abbreviated as JID).
All the possibilities of Jabber technologies have yet to be explored, however Jabber's ability to route real time XML between A and B has produced a world class IM system, and a range of non IM applications from financial trading systems and network management applications to online gaming and news tickers.
A Jabber client is any software or application that allows you to join the Jabber network and connect with your friends.
Unlike many other messaging networks, Jabber allows you to use the same account and log on multiple times simultaneously. For example, you might have a client at home, one at work, and one on your mobile phone. Any or all of them can be connected at any one time. The resource is to identify each of these individual clients.
Here is a full list of Jabber clients for Apple MacOS, Console, Cross-Platform (Linux/Mac/Windows), Linux/Unix, Mobile/Cell Phone, Web Browser, and Windows.
Quickstart Guide to Running Jabber
Download a free client.
If you downloaded client software, install it and start it.
If you have an existing account at a Jabber-enabled service like Google Talk (Gmail) or Live Journal, you can simply log in using that account.
If you don't have an existing Jabber account, log in to one of the many free Jabber services using your preferred username and your client will automatically create the account.
Log in and start chatting with others on the Jabber network!
NOTE: Auto-creation of accounts does not work for iChat! You must use another client such as Adium, Psi, or Spark to create your account. After that you can log in with iChat.